Thursday, June 28, 2007

College – What’s the Real Problem?

My wife and I have seven children and 18 grandchildren, so we know the cost of college can do to a family’s budget. And I appreciate some of the proposals put forth recently to make it easier for low-income students to have a chance to go to college.

But I have to tell you, I think those proposals overlook a very glaring problem for all college-bound students – They’re not ready.

We know that nearly one-third of college freshman have to take remedial courses – these are high school courses – all over again before they can tackle the college level work that their high school diploma suggested they were ready for.

In short, our schools are failing these young people – and their families, many of whom are making genuine sacrifices so that their children can go to college.

I’m disturbed about this, and I had the ED in 08 staff pull together the best research available.

Here are just a few things they found:

  • 42 percent of students who enter our community colleges, which get young people started on a four-year college program or certify them for a lot of our technical careers, have to take remedial courses.
  • Families spend $283 million to pay for their children’s remedial courses in community colleges alone!
  • 62 percent of college students say they wish they had been challenged more in high school.

This is just not acceptable. We’re not asking enough of our high school students – and we not giving them enough in our schools – to prepare them for college … or for the workplace or for life.

Click here to download the complete fact sheet my staff pulled together for me on this. It's well worth the look. 



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